Last week, part of our marketing team went out to Heffley Lake and tried Stand Up Paddling for the first time. Land training in advance was great practice but as with anything, getting out on the water is the real test and with the consequence of falling into the lake when you make a mistake, everyone wanted to be perfect from the start. It was a beautiful day and the lake was so clean and clear and warm that Kamloops Kendel jumped in just for the pleasure of doing so. (That's why she is Kamloops Kendel....no fear)
Stand Up Paddling is one of the fastest growing water sports in North America and I can see why. While we were on beginner boards that are wider and more stable, once we got the hang of it, it is not that difficult to paddle a lake. Now...it was a calm day with few boats and no wind so there will be a better test in the future as to how easy or difficult this is (Bodie goes 33 miles in open ocean between Hawaiian Islands and races just to add another element to it!)
One of the coolest things about SUP (acronym for Stand Up Paddling) is how much it increases your ability to see down into the water below. While out in the lake and heading over to a quiet little cove to watch the turtles, looking down 10 or 15 feet deep, there was a nice big rainbow trout cruising around. The loons were nearby but we did not get a chance to see them swimming and fishing below the surface.
This sport is also a great source of exercise and a way to meet like-minded people. There was a fellow out on the lake that came and joined us and he had modified his board to have a choice between two paddles, one single paddle and the other a
typical double paddle for a kayak. He had also added a seat back for seated paddling and cruised up looking very relaxed. (might have been the martini he had just mixed from his onboard wet bar ;-))
The beauty of SUP is that it will work in a river, a lake and an ocean and with the quick and easy access to rivers and lakes in the Kamloops area, I think we will be seeing a wave of these boards showing up everywhere. When people spot each other on the water, there is a tendency to paddle on over and ask about the board, the experience, etc. so it is also a great way to socialize. I remember seeing someone paddling down Paul Lake before I had tried it and I thought to myself, this person really stood out from all the other watercraft and floaties for the relaxed stance and movements they were using.
I highly recommend that people should head out, catch a wave and they may find themselves sittin on top of the world.
For more information on SUP in Kamloops click here - http://www.tourismkamloops.com/home_showSection_ID_786.html
To watch our SUP experience in Video click here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIHHqmXIjQk